Happy Mother's Day 2012
I have not been a perfect mom and I am not anyone’s poster child for motherhood. James Dobson has never had me on his program ... I have never been served breakfast in bed by some world famous chef ... and my name is not written on a bronze-plaque on a park bench anywhere!
But I can tell you this ... I have loved being a mom.
I have loved the long days and endless nights of rocking and praying for a colicky baby.
I have loved getting up at 5 a.m. to put a pacifier back in a 6 month old baby’s rosebud mouth.
I have loved potty-training 2 year olds ... and 3 year olds ... and 4 year olds.
I have loved finger-prints on my windows and macaroni and cheese smeared on my cupboards.
I have loved the jumbling mountain of shoes by the back door and too much laundry for one woman to possibly do by herself.
I have loved making up songs and watching “Beauty and the Beast” at least 100 times or more.
I have loved filling Christmas stockings ... baking birthday cakes ... and coloring Easter Eggs.
I have loved reading “Pat the Bunny” ... “The Little Engine that Could” ... “Little House on the Prairie” ... and “Carry On, Mr. Bowditch!” until I had them memorized.
I have loved toddlers, teens and ‘tweens ... sidewalk chalk in my driveway ... baseball games ... ballet recitals ... and family game nights.
I have loved the smell of their newborn breath and the sound of their feet on my stairway ... each one with their very own rhythm.
I have not been a perfect mom .. but I have loved being a mom ... every second ... every minute ... every day.
Children come without instructions. Not one of mine has come with a note attached that clearly states, “I will be strong-willed so you better buy every book that James Dobson has ever written!”
None of my children came with a heavenly map that explained potty-training or what movies they should be allowed to watch or how to discover their learning style.
You need no formal instruction to become a parent ... there is no manual on which you will be tested or a licensing course to take.
You need a license to drive a car ... refrigerators come with instructions ... even calculators come with manuals. But not babies.
Being a parent is the most important job that you will ever undertake and yet no one tells you what will be expected of you ... how hard it is ... or that it never ends.
The only answer for a sleepless night is to patiently endure it.
The only advice for potty training is keep your sense of humor.
The only way to make it through the teen years is to repent to your mom for how you acted those many decades ago.
So ... what is my advice to moms?
What is my advice to moms who are just beginning this journey into the lovely abyss known as “motherhood”?
My advice to young moms is to hold your babies. Don’t let them cry themselves to sleep. Rock ... hold ... and pray. Human beings come with one need: the need to be loved. That’s why God gave babies to mothers because He knew that if there is one thing that women do well ... it is that we love well and hard and strong. Love does not spoil a baby. Love fulfills and satisfies a baby.
What is my advice to moms in the thick of the glorious battle known as “motherhood”?
My advice is to win your battles with a stubborn tenacity that women have been known for since the beginning of time! Don’t give in to the tantrums of a 2 year old ... the whining opinion of a 7 year old ... the whims of a 12 year old ... or the resolve of a 16 year old. The most important victory you will ever experience is when you win a child’s heart with unremitting kindness that refuses to be swayed with cultural reasoning, hormonal angst or childish demands. Win ... but win with kindness ... with sweet strength and with moral perception.
What is my advice to moms as they stand on the front porch waving good-bye?
Pray. Your children can run away from your words but never from your prayers. You are the most powerful version of yourself when you now spend long nights not in the rocking chair but on your knees. You can no longer wipe their tears but now you can strengthen their hearts with the miraculous power of prayer.
And finally, what is my advice to women who have never experienced both the challenges and joys of motherhood?
You don’t have to be called “Mom” to be a mother. To mother is to sacrifice for someone who needs you desperately. To mother is to leave a spiritual inheritance that will impact generations to come. To mother is to believe in somebody when all others have lost hope. The delight of motherhood has never been limited to those with healthy ovaries or those in happy marriages. We can all mother the young lives that God graciously and purposefully places in our paths.
Happy Mother’s Day ... from my heart to yours!